RESIDENTS who are being terrorised by gangs on a Guisborough estate are appealing for action to stop their lives from being made a misery.

Youngsters aged from ten upwards, have been caught in large gangs drinking alcohol, taking drugs and riding off-road motorbikes in residents' gardens on the Wilton Lane Estate.

Some local people say they are too afraid to leave their homes in the evening.

There have been reports of the youths smashing elderly people's windows and one pensioner, who tried to reason with the youngsters, was left with a broken jaw.

Local councillors, the police, Coast and Country Housing and community safety officers met residents in July in a bid to tackle the problems and another public meeting took place last Friday at Guisborough Methodist Church to discuss residents' concerns.

Insp Graham Wakerley from Cleveland Police said: "The problem we have on the estate is groups of youths causing annoyance to residents, and especially elderly residents, mainly at weekends.

"We believe that the youths do not come from the Wilton Lane Estate, but from other parts of Guisborough.

"We have made arrests for drugs in the area, confiscated alcohol from underage children and warned youths about riding off-road motorcycles on grass verges and in people's gardens.

"I think the problem was worse during the summer holidays when there was more anti-social behaviour."

He said the area had not been patrolled so often between April and July as it had in the past due to new policing systems but he said that would change next month.

"We have carried out a crime prevention survey which highlighted the need for better lighting, footpaths to be better maintained and shrubbery cut back and we are also considering putting in CCTV, but that will depend on council funding," Insp Wakerley said.

"We would also encourage parents to be more aware of what their children are doing."

Housing association Coast and Country Housing owns properties on the estate. Its director of operations, Ronny Harris, said: "We are working with the council, the police and local residents to make the estate a safe and attractive place to live."

He said that officers from the company would be happy to assist in resolving any issues.